Feasting Florida

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Of Bees and Honey


Of Bees & Honey

Honey is made from flower nectar; the type of honey depends on the type of nectar source. It consists of fructose and glucose. Nectar is 75% water, with many minerals in it.

Apiculture is the science of beekeeping. It dates back to 700 BC. In mythological times, it was a symbol of life and wealth, attributing to medicinal properties. Honey was used as a purifier, antiseptic, skin toner, a sedative, a digestive aid, to reduce fevers, and stimulate the appetite. The oldest know record of honey harvesting is a 7000 BC rock painting in Spain.

Honey was the most important sweetener of the Middle Ages. It was used as a condiment. In Greek mythology, it played an important role. Native Americans used only honey as a sweetener until the import of sugar cane. They also used it as a preservative, a cooking liquid, and for its medicinal properties.

Since the science of beekeeping is known as apiculture, the hive structure is known as apiary. Bees actually use honey as a source of nourishment.

So How do we get Honey?

The worker bees gather nectar and pollen from flowers.When the bees collect pollen, the pollen will stick to the bees legs because bees are negatively charged. The bees won't mix varietals within their hives. It is sorted by color and type. It is very possible that their could be more than one type of honey in each hive. When the weather drops below 50ºF, the production of honey slows greatly.

- a jar of nectar

The nectar is projected in to a honey sac, which is in the bee’s

esophagus, where it mixes with the bee’s saliva. It is brought back to the hive with along with a substance know on propelus. Propelus is "bee glue". Propelus is used to cover all surfaces as a sterlizer.

Honey is created by the action of enzymes in saliva and gastric juices. This produces glucose and fructose. This honey is then deposited in the cells of the bee hive. The internal

temperature of the hive is 96ºF. Bees with pollen on their legs

As the honey cools, the flavor may vary.

Honey is used to feed the queen and the broods (baby bees). Bees will only have one queen per hive. Drones are male bees. A queens job is to lay eggs and take care of the broods. She will mate with up to 18 drones in a life time. A queen can lay up to 200 eggs a day. Eggs that are fertilized will either turn into a worker bee or another queen. Unfertilized eggs turn into drones. After a bee egg is laid, it takes three days to hatch to a larvae. Then 12 days to become full grown. Worker bees only have a lifespan of about 42 days.


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Man made bee hives are boxes which contain frames




























In the frames, the bees build beeswax cells.

Each layer of the hives has 8 frames. Frames consist of 5 sided cells that bees construct with a self-made wax.




Smoke is used to calm the bees by disrupting their pheromones





















Bees building new comb


















After removing the hives from the frame, they are drained of excess honey on a slightly vibrating conveyor.

A hot knife slices off the wax cap. This is known as capping. The wax is then heated, strained and pressed. This is sold as scented beeswax.